Watch your pets carefully when out walking

Dear editor,
I am writing this letter to warn other dog owners of a potential danger.

Dear editor,I am writing this letter to warn other dog owners of a potential danger. My cocker spaniel Ellie May died of rat (we think) poison ingestion on May 19. I have a fenced yard that in six years Ellie has not escaped from. After inquiring with neighbours and checking my own yard, I determined that the poisoning must have occurred off site during our daily walks at either at North Island College in the wooded area between the road and the subdivision on May 13 or at Seal Bay Park (upper area) off Huband, Mitchell and Elmo roads on May 14 to 16.According to the veterinarian, she would have ingested the poison within five to seven days of her death. I could not afford the tests required to determine for sure it was rat poisoning, but what happened to her and how she died indicates this, according to the veterinarian.My sharpei Emma died exactly one week earlier on May 12 after a life of health issues. Perhaps I was distracted and did not watch Ellie as closely as I should have during our walks right after Emma died; I cannot remember whether Ellie she got into something or not. During our walks I always make her stop if she starts eating something (which usually is horse manure). But, maybe I did not notice her eat something that may have contained rat poison.As you can imagine, I am devastated. These dogs were not just pets, they were my companions. I was preparing myself for Emma’s passing, as she had a lot of health problems and was declining fast. But Ellie was a healthy, happy dog and I looked forward to spending several more years with her.I want to thank Dr. Stacey Gastis and staff at Sunrise Vet Clinic, Dr. Pawel Palkiewic of Shamrock Vet Clinic, Dr. Erika Raines at Tree of Life, Tammy Johnson, and most of all, my dear friend Jackie Bobroske for taking great care of my “girls.” Please watch your dogs very closely when you are walking them in public, even in the woods where you are not expecting this kind of danger.Deborah Ross,Courtenay

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